Anticipation

2001, 2002 and 2003. Those were the three years that the Lord of the Ring trilogy came out at the theaters. So every December we LOTR fans were treated to a new installment of LOTR and we got to visit Middle Earth for a time.

I read LOTR back in high school, absolutely loved the book, and recall being very skeptical about a movie version. I’d actually gone to the theater to see that Ralph Bashki version and the less said about my experience the better.

Plus, except for a very few exceptions, Hollyweird has never been very good at making fantasy movies. Even the handful of fantasy movies that came out after LOTR did not live up to expectations.

But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw The Fellowship of the Ring. Sure, there’s a lot to quibble about regarding the differences between the book and the movies. I spent enough time on enough LOTR fan forums to be able to quote them from memory.

But that’s all water under the bridge. It’s been eight years since The Fellowship of the Ring came out. Just this past Sunday TNT showed the entire trilogy in one day. They do that now and then. It’s still a great achievement in filmmaking.

And I have to admit I do miss the anticipation I felt back in the fall of 01, 02 and, especially, 03. In 2003, I went with a friend to see the midnight showing of The Return of the King but that included seeing the extended versions of Fellowship and Two Towers right before it so, yeah, we were at the theater from about 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the morning of the following day. It was something (meaning I was pretty darn tired afterwards) but also a lot of fun.

The following year I went to Atlanta for a conference on mythology and the modern world and Howard Shore, the composer of the beautifully haunting music for all three films, conducted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a performance of music from the trilogy. That was a rare treat.

So, here it is the fall of 2009 and I’m not really anticipating any new movies. Looking forward to some DVD releases, notably Star Trek and Harry Potter, but there’s no new movie coming out that’s got me all aflutter with anticipation. I suppose for the Twilight fans the release of New Moon is probably something they’re looking forward to.

Oh, well, I can always watch my DVDs of LOTR this December. 🙂

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9 Responses to Anticipation

  1. Digital Dame says:

    Oh I remember well the thrill and anticipation of LOTR movies! I remember watching the Academy Awards the year Jackson swept them, I cheered so loud you would have thought I’d been an investor! 😉 Guillermo del Toro is going to start filming The Hobbit in 2010 (Boyens and Jackson wrote the screenplay).

    I thought there were a couple things coming up that looked interesting but can’t recall off the top of my head. If I think of them I’ll let you know. Meantime, I just ran across this on IMDB. It’s in limited release, we may have to wait for the DVD, but it looks promising. Jane Campion (The Piano) wrote the screenplay and directed:

    Bright Star

    It’s about John Keats and his last love affair before he died at the age of 25.

  2. jennareynolds says:

    The Hobbit. Oh, yeah, that’s right. I forgot about the movie version. I will be honest and say I’m not a total fan of the book (I have read it but only once) but I will go and see the movie.

    I loved The Piano and a movie about Keats does sound promising. 🙂

  3. Patricia says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I did look so forward to Dec and LOTR! It was such a treat. There hasn’t been another movie I looked forward to seeing like those. I am planning to go see Sherlock Holmes in Dec. I’m hoping it will be a good movie.

  4. jennareynolds says:

    I feel the same way, Patricia. No movie so far has been able to match the excitement I felt when December rolled around those three years. 🙂

    I’ve seen the trailer for Sherlock Holmes. I’m a sucker for anything Victorian so I may see it too.

  5. Ed says:

    I hate to admit it now, but I was a latecomer in admiring The Lord of the Rings, in both book and movie form. I had never read it, nor did I see Fellowship in the theatre. I rented Fellowship after its DVD release. I was 45 minutes into watching it when my wife came home from some shopping trip or some such thing, and I blurted out to her “This is The Greatest Movie Ever Made!” I still feel that way.

    I may be unusual in favoring the theatrical release to the entended edition, I just believe the edited version made for a tighter story, if taking each movie separately. and I have to reluctantly agree that omitting Tom Bombadill was the right thing to do — some things work in a book that can’t be made to work in a movie.

    Oddly enough, Retrun of the King was my favorite of the books, but my least favored of the movies.

  6. I was never a fan of the books, but the films are a true marvel.

    Have you seen Jackson’s early film, “Heavenly Creatures”? It starred Kate Winslet in her film debut. It’s about a true case in which two girls killed one of their mothers. It’s filled with scenes depicting their rich, disturbed shared-fantasy world. Really a masterpiece.

    And I must look into that film on Keats.

  7. Digital Dame says:

    Movie over book?? Sacrilege! Heresy! (j/k 😉 )

    Personally I adore both. I think as far as the movies go it was one of those rare instances when they put together a dynamite cast that really meshed, and genuinely had a shared experience. I understand the main players all got matching tattoos while filming. There seemed to be a real bond between the actors which probably made a huge difference.

  8. *giggles*

    I know. I know. You aren’t going to hear me utter such a statement often.

  9. jennareynolds says:

    Ed: My son also thinks that the film version of Return of the King is the weakest. Although he’s never read the books he just thinks it’s weak in comparison to the other two installments. I happen to like Fellowship the best but I think the overall trilogy is still an incredible feat of filmmaking.

    I also think the theatrical versions are better but I do enjoy the extended versions for all of the little character moments, like the scene in ROTK where Pippin and Faramir have their little chat.

    Ah yes, Tom Bombadill. I was just having a chat with my brother about the fact that some things that you read in a book just don’t transfer over to film. Words are one things, the actual image another. And as fun as the Bombadill and Goldberry sequence is, in a movie the storyline has to be as tight as possible. That was a side trip that a movie as long as Fellowship already was could ill afford.

    Gypsycarlett: I have seen Heavenly Creatures. It was a very good film. Jackson’s version of The Lovely Bones is due out soon and it’s being compared by critics to Heavenly Creatures.

    Digital Dame: I totally agree with you! And if anyone is interested in reading about those tattoos the cast got you can go here. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8845.asp

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